The Transition from Smart Testers to Super Smart Testers

A tester’s role is very prominent in SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) as it is a role that requires putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and working as a representative of the customer to find the issues before the application is released to production. It is the tester who goes through all the business requirements, designs documents, creates test cases, executes, and shares the risks so that stakeholders can make an informed decision on Go or No-go. It is the tester who also has discussions with business analysts, developers, system engineers, DevOps teams, operation team, etc. to identify the gap from the way it is supposed to work and is currently working.

For the last few years, we have been seeing a shift in the way software is being built in. Agile with its usual benefits of faster feedback cycles and short iterative deliverables is the reality now and most companies have adopted it. DevOps has got more maturity and covered other workflows including Security (DevSecOps), Testing (TestOps), Finance (FinOps), etc. The sheer scale of application usage and its support on various devices, especially mobile devices, has really spread too fast. This means the risk of applications not working on any devices, platform, browsers have also increased a lot.

These challenges have increased the scope of testing for a tester and now require the covering of all the functionalities of the application, including non-functional areas such as coverage of various screens of Mobile phones (Android, iOS), tablets, desktops, and laptops. It needs to cover all the browsers e.g. Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox. From a user experience perspective coverage has to be there for accessibility, performance, and usability.

With every new set of features being delivered in 1 – 2 week sprint cycles, a tester has the responsibility to test new features before deploying to production, in addition to this, performing regression testing is also required to assure there is no impact on applications that are already working.

All these complexities can’t be dealt with properly with just the legacy ways of tools, technology, and skillsets.

Automation testing is the way to achieve transformation in software testing, software testers can align it to make test execution faster, and to achieve the coverage goals. With automation testing as an arsenal in its armor, a smart tester can transform it into a super smart tester.

Test automation can’t cover everything due to various technological, ROI (Return on investment), and other reasons, and there would certainly be an area which would be tested manually where critical thinking and a decision from an experienced eye augmented with SME (Subject Matter Expert) view is needed.

It is also prudent that the amount of coverage needed by testing in a short span of sprint timeline can’t be achieved by the tester alone. The teams are now shifting ownership of quality from only the tester to the entire team. Does this mean there will be no jobs for testers? No, testers will definitively continue to remain in demand. The new generation Super Smart Tester will continue to add value to the product team, the new role and responsibilities of the tester will be to become a quality strategist and identify the areas where more focus is needed to improve the quality, collaborate with other stakeholders to enable them as quality partners, harnessing the value of test data management, test environment management, and test automation efforts. Continuously assessing the risk and fine-tuning the strategy will be the core area of a tester.

 

Author:

Yatender has 20+ years of experience in software test engineering. As the head of Testing Practice at IGT Solutions, Yatender is actively involved in innovations related to test engineering covering new tools, technologies, and solutions, and enabling IGT’s clients to achieve faster time to market quality improvement, and optimization of developer efforts in overall SDLC. A result-oriented leader, proficient in delivering high customer value and achieving excellence in service delivery management with proven skills in consulting and managing large and complex test programs. When away from work, he enjoys reading on a variety of topics and spending time with kids.